A couple of weekends ago, I went to my mate Charlie’s wedding down South in Ireland. (It was Charlie’s stag weekend I went to Rotterdam for). It was a really lovely day.
The wedding was in County Mayo which is on the West coast of Ireland. I haven’t really explored Ireland at all – in fact I’ve only really been to Dublin and Donegal, so I was looking forward to seeing a bit more of the place.
We all went down on the Friday night, and stayed in Westport, having a nice meal in a local Italian restaurant. I was pretty well behaved, as I’ve been there and done that regarding getting drunk the night before a wedding, and know it’s not much fun the day after.
On the Saturday, we headed off to the church in Islandeady. It had just been freshly decorated, and was looking great inside. The ceremony was really nice, and it was obvious Charlie and Oonagh were just really happy. The priest was pretty cool and said some neat things about everyone having a great day. We also came across a basset hound walking around outside who seemed to be pleased to take part in the festivities.
After that we drove to the hotel for the reception. The skies were grey, but it was a pretty stunning location. The Mulranny Park Hotel was an old railway hotel in the late 1800s, and had closed down a couple of times, but re-opened in the last decade or so. It was opposite a beach with a causeway out into the sea. Pretty spectacular.
The reception was awesome. The speeches were funny, and Charlie during his speech actually sang a song he’d written just for the occasion, playing the guitar while he sang, accompanied by John – his best man – on various percussion instruments like maracas. It was a funny song, not cheesy, but I had to admire Charlie for doing that in front of everyone!
The most bizarre bit of the reception had to be the entrance of the Straw Men. Apparently it’s a tradition in the West of Ireland, although dying out a bit. From what I could gather, people in straw hats used to come into weddings and run off with drink. Nowadays however, they turn up and entertain people, with dancing, and demand nothing more than a cup of tea and a piece of cake.
It was really weird seeing all these people with basket heads jigging about on the dancefloor, but they were really friendly, and I did manage to get my photo taken with them. Two of them were also extremely hot.
I thought they added a great touch to the wedding, which was brilliant as it was, but it’s just nice to see traditions like this still being carried out to this day – a lot of the time that’s what makes life a bit unusual.
Update: Thanks to my mate G and his beautiful wife Fiaza for driving me there and back. I couldn’t have gone without him he is brilliant!